(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort. Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)
Are you a writer? Good, get your work out there in the world, even if you have to change it up later.
The world is on fire, history is being made, and we’d like it to stop, thanks. Get your book or zine or whatever get out there now so people can experience it. You’ll figure out how to do better later if you need to.
I came to this conclusion while debating putting out print versions of my worldbuilding minibooks. These small guides to specific worldbuilding questions are maybe 55-75 pages in print, the kind of thing that is usually just an ebook. However, since I could see people gifting these, taking notes in them, etc. I started exploring how to put them into print.
That wasn’t as easy as I thought.
I could do them through Amazon, which has a great POD setup that parallels their easy Kindle system. But I could do IngramSpark and get them into bookstores (though It’d cost me). I then began debating my choices . . .
Suddenly I remembered Zine culture and its rapid, DIY aesthetic. Zine-makers often aim to get things out, sometimes against the odds. Putting something into a usable form makes it more likely it gets used, and Zine culture emphasized getting stuff to people.
Then looking at the state of the world, I realized that if I wanted to get my work into people’s hands in print, I should just do it. I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew what would let me get my work out in print before too much future happened.
So I decided to go to Amazon. Any other debate aside, it would let me do it faster and with a system I knew. I could always change up later.
I implore you, as a fellow writer, to get your work out there in whatever reasonable way you can. Maybe it will just be an ebook; perhaps you’ll decide to go with IngramSpark and pay the fees to get to bookstores, or maybe it’ll be self-printed. Just do it before you don’t have the chance to.
Hell, getting your work out there in these crazy times might make the times less crazy. I’m not saying ramming your book out through Draft2Digital will save the world, but you might save it for some people. It’s far better than whatever you’ve written sitting there unappreciated and unread.